Federal Government Responds to the Royal Commission’s Recommendations and Offers National Apology

On 13 June the Federal Government announced its response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) and also announced a national apology the survivors, victims and families of institutional child sexual abuse to be delivered on 22 October to coincide with National Children’s Week (19-28 October). In a press conference Prime Minister Turnbull announced: the creation of a national office for child safety commencing on 1 July, the development of a Commonwealth child safety framework and the nationalisation of child safety checks. This significant response from the Federal Government comes as all states and territories except Western Australia have signed up to the national redress scheme for survivors, allowing the provision of compensation, counselling and personal apologies to abuse survivors.

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Slavery alive and well in Australia: NSW Modern Slavery Bill set to pass

It has been reported that slavery has never been a bigger problem in Australia than it is right now. With the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 recently passing the NSW Legislative Council, NSW is set to be the first jurisdiction to legislate on modern slavery, requiring schools to adjust their curriculum offerings and train staff on the new concepts and criminal offences.

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Northern Territory to Spend Five Years Overhauling Child Protection and Youth Justice Systems

The Northern Territory Government has announced a historic reform package to deliver the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. A Generational Strategy for Children and Families will be implemented over the next five years, promising a protracted period of reform which schools will need to continuously monitor.

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Addressing liability for institutional child abuse: WA responds to Royal Commission recommendations

The Western Australian (WA) Government has joined other jurisdictions around Australia and debated proposed legislation to remove the limitation periods on the bringing of actions by victims of child sexual abuse in institutions. This action by WA is a response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

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Changes to ACT Child Protection: Reportable Conduct Scheme and New Grooming Offences

Prior to the conclusion of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) in December 2017, November was a flurry of regulatory activity in the Australian Capital Territory, with various changes to the Territory’s child protection system proposed and introduced. As other jurisdictions prepare themselves for responding to the Royal Commission’s Final Report, and the extent to which they will be taking the final recommendations into account, the ACT is under the spotlight as we consider the effectiveness of its attempts to pioneer reforms and expand its child protection system.

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Addressing liability for institutional child abuse: NSW leads the way in state and territory responses to the Royal Commission

Recently, the Civil Liability Amendment (Institutional Child Abuse) Bill 2017 (the Bill) was introduced into the New South Wales Parliament by Shadow Attorney-General, Paul Lynch. It is a groundbreaking step by NSW to update their liability for institutional child abuse before the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse (the Royal […]

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New program for child sexual abuse evidence in NSW Courts

A pilot program for child sexual abuse victim evidence has been rolled out in Newcastle and Sydney Downing Centre courts.  The trial reached its halfway point this month with the delivery of a UNSW report Evaluation of the Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot (the Evaluative Report). The program is the first of its kind in Australia […]

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The end of the Royal Commission draws near: Are schools ready for its final recommendations?

Child protection is an ever-evolving and expanding web of laws, legislation, standards and guidelines. Some jurisdictions like Victoria have seen more legal upheaval than others, while others such as South Australia have seen state Royal Commissions which have prompted legal change.  What all jurisdictions have in common is that they have forged their own paths, […]

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The Royal Commission and ADF Cadets: incorrect policies and procedures and disciplinary culture are lessons for schools

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) recently released the report of Case Study 40 entitled: ‘The response of the Australian Defence Force to allegations of child sexual abuse’ (the Report).  Schools may well be asking, ‘what does a report regarding the Australian Defence Force (ADF) allegations of child sexual abuse […]

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Latest Royal Commission Report on Child Sexual Abuse Risk: Is your school a high risk institution?

On 19 June 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) released its latest research report considering why child sexual abuse occurs in institutions, entitled Assessing the different dimensions and degrees of child sexual abuse in institutions (the Report).  The research project was carried out by Professors Patrick Parkinson and […]

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